MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU’s women’s soccer season starts this week, but fans didn’t have to wait until the school year started to watch Mountaineers on the pitch.
Head coach Nikki Izzo-Brown watched three past-and-future Mountaineers play under the sport’s brightest lights this month in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“It’s the biggest stage,” Izzo-Brown said. “So for us to have athletes that have been part of our West Virginia family, and our community, and our athletic department, they take us all on their backs and represent us. I know that a lot of Mountaineer fans reached out to me and just said how cool it was to follow our athletes or former alumni. So I think sport always brings us together.”
Former WVU teammates and current Chelsea duo Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence teamed up once more for Team Canada. Both Buchanan and Lawrence played all three matches and were on the pitch for over 200 minutes each.
Izzo-Brown soaked it all in from afar.
“Of course, I’ll go mom-mode,” she said. “I’m just so proud of them and watching them, and really just enjoying watching them is so fun for me where I don’t have to worry about tactics I can just enjoy their experience and somewhat be a part of it.”
Along with Buchanan and Lawrence, WVU-commit and Fairmont native Isabella Flanigan competed for the Philippines in the Women’s World Cup.
According to WVU, Flanigan will defer her freshman year to 2024 to focus on international appearances for the Philippines. Izzo-Brown said that she “can forecast” stints with the country’s U20 or U23 teams in the next year.
“[Flanigan] really has made a big presence with the full national team coach,” she said. “And I know he really likes her. So, I only see that opportunity and how she’s taken it to just allow her to blossom and become the best player she can for her country.”
Flanigan played 104 minutes in the team’s three matches in the group stage.
Chelsea FC is scheduled to play A.S. Roma in a friendly on September 3, and its Women’s Super League season will start on October 1 against Tottenham.